A Heroic Soldier
Sal Giunta's Story
Staff Sergeant Giunta's Heroism
Is fifteen seconds all it takes to make a dramatic change in the outcome of a battle? This is a written explanation of how one man exemplified three different characteristics, in fifteen seconds, which had a great impact on the men around him. This man’s story has impacted the lives of many people, and his story has numerous examples of ways one should lead. Giunta’s exemplification of Duty, Respect, and Honor helped saved many of the people’s life, who fought with him.
Duty is the expectations of a person to carry out a task no matter how drastic the situation may be. Without duty, SSGT Giunta would not have been a Medal of Honor recipient. Giunta exemplified duty when he rescued one of his fellow comrade from the Talibans who tried to capture him. He did not worry about the fact that he might end up in the middle of the enemy’s side of the terrain; all that mattered is that it was his duty to serve and protect his comrade. Another circumstance of Giunta’s exemplification of duty was when he decided that his best tactic was to cooperate with his men by having each of them throw a grenade at a time right before running out of the ambushed zone. This helped him have a better view of the terrain which gave him a better chance to make a decision that would change the outcome of the battle to his favor. The most dutiful decision he made was by taking a hit to the right side of his body, and he did not stop because he felt it was his duty to save Sgt. Gallardo, a fellow American soldier, who was shot. When asked about his bravery, Giunta responded by saying, “This is what we get paid to do…this is what pays our bills, this is what gives us money to have fun, this is the life that we chose to live, at least at this moment in time.” In other words, the reason for all of Giunta’s actions and reactions were based on will to protect his men at all cost. This was successful because of all the training he had accrued in his lifetime as a soldier.
Respect is the title of appreciation given by others to a person that goes out of their way to make others’ lives better. Respect is not something one receives, it is something one earns. The best way to earn respect is to show respect. Giunta, in the midst of chaos, fought with men who lost their lives for each other. Although Giunta saved many people’s lives, many died protecting him, while some who survived did not get the Medal of Honor. According to Giunta, “I only did the next thing that needed to be done, and I was only able to do it because the men around me had the rest of it taken care of.” Because of the respect the men Giunta fought with have earned by taking care of their role in the battle, Giunta returned the respect by giving credit to all the soldiers out there who fought and saved a lot of lives.
Honor is the distinction one gains by exceeding one’s peers in a similar task or activity. Honor can be earned by winning a spelling bee contest, or from being the smartest man in the world. Giunta earned his honor by going over and beyond his expectations as a soldier and by doing the best he could in his situation. When asked about his experience in the ambush, Giunta said, “Everything kind of slowed down and I did everything I thought I could do.” Instead of solely worrying about his own survival, Giunta put it upon himself to make sure to check on his comrades to see if they are okay. He said that his main purpose for running over to Brandon was to “make sure that he knows where he was, and to make sure that he gets an idea of the small battle space that they were working with.” As a result of his hard work trying to communicate with the men around him, it helped make it easier for the rest of the men to work cooperatively as a team to effectively defeat the enemy.
SSGT Giunta reflected honor, duty, and respect in many aspects on his line of duty, and in his return a reward was given to him. He had abided by the military value by watching out for his men and doing what he had to do to keep them safe. As people learn from Giunta’s exemplification of leadership, they will become honorable future leaders in the military as well as in the civilian world. The people will inspire others through the inspirations that Giunta has placed upon their hearts.